Our Appeal Process
CTRG professionals may be able to reduce your property taxes on a contingency basis meaning that we will only charge a fee on the successful reduction of your property taxes otherwise there is no charge.
If your property and school tax bills shot through the roof lately? Chances are they have: with property values raising steadily, many property owners are in this situation. It’s possible for us to appeal your property assessment if the assessed value is more than $500,000 and doesn’t reflect the true value of your property. If this is your situation, CTRG may have a solution for you…
Property assessment in brief
A municipality’s valuation roll contains information about every property located within its territory, including its real value. That “real value” is the property’s exchange value on an open, competitive market—in other words, the price it will most likely fetch in a mutual-consent sale.
That value then serves as the basis for establishing the municipal property tax and school tax amounts. Those amounts are calculated by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rates in effect. The property assessment amount therefore has a direct impact on the amount of your tax bill.
Our review of the valid reasons for requesting a review
Simply disagreeing with the assessed property value isn’t enough to have a successful appeal request for review: you must be able to prove it is inaccurate.
That means proving that it would have been impossible to obtain the assessed amount in a sale subject to the real-estate market conditions that prevailed 18 months before the valuation roll came into force.
Here are examples of grounds for appeal that may be invoked:
- Defects with the property (e.g., breakage, construction defects);
- Nuisances (e.g., noise, pollution, flooding);
- Other factors based on sales of comparable properties, high expenses, etc.
The review request process
Our first step is CTRG professionals will review your information and prepare the file to support filing an application. During this process, CTRG will determine if the file has merit or not, if it’s financially reasonable to continue and if the file does we will sign a formal contract and proceed with the appeal or the file will us be closed at no cost to you.
Our second step is filing an application with the appropriate fees to the municipal organization responsible for assessment (i.e. city, municipality, or regional county municipality. Including the reasons why we are contesting the assessed value before deadline to file the appeal of April 30th
Our Third step after discussions, examination of the property, with the municipal assessor they will provide a written response (modifying or maintaining the real value) no later than September 1. He or she can, however, extend this deadline,
- to the following November 1;
- or to the following April 1, with the consent of the municipality concerned.
Based on assessment reviews filed in the City of Montreal for the previous roll (2011-13), of the 4,370 residential properties, 59 per cent had their initial valuation reduced. Of the 2,237 non-residential properties, about 52 per cent received a reduction in valuation following a successful contestation.
It is possible, though highly unlikely, that a valuation could be increased following a reassessment request by the owner, Lowe said. “An inspector goes and looks at the place. It doesn’t often happen usually. If there are good reasons, the assessment is lowered. People don’t realize that when there is a detailed assessment, the value could go up.”
If you aren’t satisfied with the municipal response, you can take your appeal to a second body, the Tribunal administratif du Québec. The tribunal allows citizens who disagree with decisions handed down by certain authorities (e.g., a municipality) to obtain a reassessment of their case.
Note: for Fourth and Fifth steps, it is practically indispensable that additional professionals and additional costs must be added to maximize the chances that the tribunal or court will find in our favour. Considering this, CTRG will review the file to determine if it’s financially reasonable to continue the file at this stage, and can close the file at no cost to the taxpayer or CTRG.
Our Fourth step involves filing a written request with the Secretariat of the Tribunal administratif du Québec or with a registry of the Small Claims Division of the Court of Quebec. You can also send the request by registered mail or fax to any of the points of contact of the Tribunal.
- Payment of the prescribed fee (based on the value of the property and the grounds invoked) must be included when filing the request.
- The request for reassessment must invoke the same grounds as the earlier request. The request must be submitted no later than 60 days after the date of the municipal assessor’s response (the deadline will be earlier if the municipal response did not arrive within the prescribed time limit).
- A decision will be rendered after the parties have been heard.
Our Fifth step : As a last resort, with the permission of a judge, it’s possible to appeal your case before the Civil Division of the Court of Quebec, within 30 days following the decision from the Tribunal administratif du Québec.